Bullitt Co. Sheriff says he doesn't have enough money to pay his deputies and keep them safe
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Bullitt County Sheriff says he has the best staff he can get, but he doesn't have enough money to keep them safe.
A Facebook post by Bullitt County Sheriff Dave Greenwell is getting a lot of attention. He says his deputies are not getting paid enough and there's not enough money for equipment to keep them safe.
The Facebook post has dozens of comments and has been shared more than 150 times. The County is also receiving calls about it.
Sheriff Greenwell declined our request for an interview but wrote in his post, "The thing that scares me the most is with all the terrible things going on in the world and the way police are increasingly being slaughtered, I send them out some with outdated bulletproof vests or no vests at all."
"I don't control his spending at all," Bullitt County's Chief Financial Officer Keith Griffee said. He says Greenwell brought up in Fiscal Court the idea of needing to keep his deputies safe.
"Agreed with that and the judge agreed with that," Griffee said.
The Sheriff's Department now gets $600,000 from Bullitt Fiscal Court for the year, double what it was before. The Sheriff's Department says it's still not enough to cover 50 paid employees which includes 33 deputies on patrol. Griffee says the overall county budget was cut by 10 percent and revenue has been flat for the past three years.
When asked why Bullitt County doesn't have more money, Griffee responded, "That's a great question. I'm working with economic development. I don't think we're seeing the revenue. I've asked the same question. We're looking at how do we collect taxes here? How are they assessed?"
"You can look at all the buildings that are coming up on 480 over there and the recent news proposals of what they are kicking in on their roads," Jerry Burke said. "Someone needs to dig deeper on why we don't have the adequate amount of money. I would be in favor of them sorting out why they have this false lack of money and do that first, but anything that would be required to make officers safe, you've got to be behind that."
By Wednesday afternoon, the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office posted, "Due to the tremendous outpouring of support from the community, we are making the difficult decision to set up a donation account for vests. We are also still exploring the options for grants for partial payments on the vests."
"[I] Fully understand he needs more, but if you went to EMS, or the road department, they would say they need more too," Griffee said.
Full Facebook Post from Sheriff Dave Greenwell:
"The first thing I had to worry about when I was first elected sheriff was retaining and hiring men and women of honor to protect and serve us all.
What a difficult task . Some made it and some didn't.
The deputy's I have today are some of the finest people I have ever known. They are the cream of the crop.
They are willing to lay down their life each day for all of us.
I send them to work each day under paid and in some cases under staffed with out proper back up. ...
The thing that scares me the most is with all the terrible things going on in the world and the way police are increasingly being slaughtered, I send them out some with outdated bulletproof vests or no vests at all. What a choice to have to make. What I refer to is the choice I had to make to buy new sheriffs patrol vehicles because the maintenance was killing our offices budget. Not to mention the extremely dangerous condition and high mileage cars our deputy's were forced to race to all of us in our times of need. I find it amazing no one died. The odds were against us. Thanks for a lot of prayer things were ok. My choice was let them stand the risk of getting killed in a car and possibly kill a member of the public or let them be shot without protective vest. As I said earlier what a choice I had to make. I'm ashamed of my self for not being able to spread the money around and provide the needs of our deputy's not the wants. The money I generate at the sheriffs office is just not enough to deliver the level of protection I have been trying to provide for all of us. It's very plain to see it's been working, a blind person can see that. We have taken more dope off the streets than ever before. And as a result of that the crime rate here has dropped to an all time low. Money is constantly being taken away from us. We are forced to foot the cost of our task force all alone without the help from anyone.
Ok I'm done ranting. But I can't stop worrying night and day. What I'm ashamed of more than myself is the ones that can help but let's egos and politics get in the way of doing what's right!
If I had one wish, it would be that my deputy's would not be given a possible death sentence by those who have the power to change, and allow the ones who keep us safe to have better. - Dave"
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.